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New Contracts For Munster Trio

New Contracts For Munster Trio

Munster Rugby and the IRFU have confirmed that Robin Copeland and Dave O’Callaghan have both signed two-year contract extensions with the province, while Greencore Academy player Rory Scannell has secured a senior deal.

The back row duo of Robin Copeland and Dave O’Callaghan have signed two-year contract extensions that will see them remain with Munster until at least June 2018. Rory Scannell will be promoted from the Academy ranks to a development contract at the start of the 2016/17 season and will advance to a full contract for the 2017/18 season.

Wexford native Copeland joined Munster at the start of the 2014/15 season and has gone on to make 24 appearances, scoring six tries. The 28-year-old made his GUINNESS PRO12 debut against Benetton Treviso at the Stadio di Monigo in September 2014 and a month later went on to make his European debut against Saracens at Thomond Park.

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On the international front, he represented Ireland Wolfhounds against England Saxons in January 2014 and later that year played in Emerging Ireland’s Nations Cup-winning campaign in Romania where the back rower was named the Player of the Tournament. He made his senior debut for Ireland against Georgia in November 2014.

O’Callaghan, a product of the Munster Academy, has made 52 appearances for the province after making his PRO12 bow against the Ospreys at Thomond Park in October 2011. The Youghal native completed his Academy programme by claiming the Academy Player of the Year award in May 2012 after he made ten competitive appearances in his final year, including his first European Cup appearance against Northampton Saints in Thomond Park.

The 25-year-old represented the Ireland Under-20s in two Junior World Championships and featured for Emerging Ireland in the 2013 Tbilisi Cup in Georgia.

O’Callaghan, who has started in ten games so far this season, is currently rehabbing an adductor injury he sustained against Leicester Tigers in round 4 of the Champions Cup and is expected to be sidelined for approximately five weeks.

Academy player Scannell is in his final year of the programme but has already made an impression in the senior ranks after starting on his PRO12 debut against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park in October 2014. Playing in the centre and at out-half, the recently turned 22-year-old has made 14 appearances for the province, making his Champions Cup debut in October against Treviso at Thomond Park.

A former Ireland Under-20 international, a run of good form last season for Munster and Munster ‘A’ led to the Dolphin clubman being selected for the Emerging Ireland squad that won the Tbilisi Cup in Georgia last June.

Younger brother of hooker Niall, the Scannell brothers became the first brothers to start a league game for the province when taking on the Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade earlier this month.

Commenting on the latest contract news, Munster head coach Anthony Foley said: “It is great to have Robin, Dave and Rory commit to the province. Each player has their own individual attributes and are all valuable members of this squad.

“With Robin and Dave we are maintaining the services of two hugely physical players that each bring different skill-sets to our overall game. In addition to this, both players have proven their versatility over the years in playing across the back row and at lock so we are delighted to have players of their calibre in the squad.

“Similar to Dave, we are fortunate to have further homegrown talent like Rory make their way up through the ranks. For a young guy who has been playing at the next level for over a year now, we are looking forward to seeing Rory’s contribution develop into the future.”